Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 47 of 83

48 | My NERR is the one that encompasses Weeks Bay, which is just a portion of the sprawling waterways that makeup the Mobile Bay region of Southern Alabama. I've spent countless hours fishing this area, and my kids love going to the fishing pier behind the Reserve's resource building. We've caught everything from big bull reds and fat flounder to speckled trout and even largemouth bass. (By definition, an estuary is where fresh and saltwater mix.) There is a boat launch, which stays packed on summer weekends, along with classrooms and a big pontoon boat for taking groups out to explore the sawgrass-lined bay. Down the road is a nature trail and an interpretive center full of live and preserved flora and fauna. My kids always want to visit the baby alligators and look at the butterfly collection. The point is that I've come to appreciate first-hand how the NERR has connected our family and the rest of the community to the incredible estuary at our back door. I live just six minutes from a NERR (pronounced "neer"), and it's pretty sweet. In fact, you might call my family NERR nerds. A NERR, by the way, is a National Estuarine Research Reserve and there are only 28 of them around the U.S. They could easily be mistaken for a state park or Wildlife Management Area, but they're so much more than that. A NERR is a connection point, a hub. It's where an incredible natural resource, scientific research, smart management and the general public all converge. 48 | Secrets of the The marshy stretches of the Mississippi coast hold incredible treasures, and dedicated souls in Grand Bay are working to share them. BY DARYL CARSON

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